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Transcript: The ReidOut, 11/23/21

Guests: Eric Swalwell, Nancy MacLean, Joe Madison


January 6th committee subpoenas right-wing militia leaders. Report classifies U.S. as a backsliding democracy. January 6th committee subpoenas the Oath Keepers. Global report says U.S. democracy is at risk.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: The Washington Post report the RNC is covering his legal fees for criminal probes in New York. These are personal legal fees. Trump`s political operation though has raised over $100 million. He would seem to have the money but just doesn`t want to spend it and now is asking the party faithful to put aside money that would go towards electing Republicans and just keep him and his team out of jail in New York. An update on that, as promised.

That does is for us. THE REIDOUT starts now. Hi, Joy.


Isn`t that interesting? The billionaire is not paying for his legal fees? Very interesting, I`m sure you`re going to do more of that on the show. So, thank you for that heads-up.

MELBER: Good to see you.

REID: Okay. Have a wonderful evening.

All right, good evening everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the news from the select committee on January 6th.

For the second time in two days they issued new subpoenas and today`s batch targets the right wing militias at the for front of the insurrection including the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers and their respective leaders Enrique Tario and Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Additionally a third paramilitary organization called the first amendment praetorian was also subpoenaed.

Together these groups represent a toxic mix of F-no nationalism, bigotry and vigilantism. The subpoena letters detail how members of the Proud Boys called for blanking war over false claims of a stolen election referring to government officials has evil scum who should die a traitor`s death. 34 of them have been indicted in connection with the siege.

Now I should note that the chairman of the Proud Boys, Enrique Tario, also led the national grassroots organization called Latinos for Trump. Similarly for today`s subpoena, the Oath Keepers plan to move together in coordination and with regular communication to storm the Capitol, which is why 16 of them have been charged with conspiracy.

The group`s leader, Stewart Rhodes, notably called for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act, warning that the Oath Keepers would mount a much more desperate and bloody war if he did not do so. Well, the Oath Keepers and the First Amendment Praetorian are also known to provide security for Donald Trump closes ally Roger Stone and Michael Flynn. As Trump`s most loyal foot soldiers, it is clear why the committee would want to hear from them.

But I want to pause here for a moment to focus on a bigger picture story which may help to explain why this committee`s investigation is important. Yesterday, the International Institute for Democracy in Electoral Assistance released its annual report rating the health of democracy in more than 160 countries around the world.

And the results for this country, well, they`re not good. For the first time the United States has been classified as a backsliding democracy. That means that unless things change, we are on a path to authoritarian rule and we could be there within a decade.

The report states that the United States, the bastion of global democracy, fell victim to authoritarian tendencies. And the tipping point, according to the report, came when former President Donald Trump questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election results.

To see the world`s oldest surviving democracy in decline is worrying, it`s disappointing and it needs to be addressed but not surprising. I mean, does this look like democracy to you? The events of January 6th are glaring proof that Donald Trump never knew what made America great in the first place.

I shouldn`t have to say this but attempting a coup against your own government because you lost an election is antithetical to courts heading of our constitutional republic if Trump continues to celebrate that brazen attack on our democracy. Just today, he attacked free and fair elections themselves, claiming that November 3rd, Election Day, was the real insurrection.

But the worst just happening just beneath the surface, where the big lie continues to chip away at the very foundation of this country as a democratic republic. Trump and his Republican allies are working overtime to literally rig the ballot box giving themselves power to overrule the voters and change the outcome of future elections.

The right of every American to vote is under attack. Democrats are being gerrymandered out of power. And those who do get elected have their victories questioned with false allegation of fraud. In fact one-third of all Americans have been hoodwinked into believing that Joe Biden was not actually legitimately elected as our president.

Thanks to Trump, Republican candidates today are less likely to concede defeat after a lost election once the vote has been counted. We`re increasingly hearing talk of a civil war and 30 percent, a third almost of Republicans say that they believe that they may have to resort to violence in order to, quote, save the country.

Now, it is true that democracy itself tends to be resilient but this is a stark warning sign. Free and fair elections could be a thing of the past.


Joining me now is Congressman Eric Swalwell of California. He was an impeachment manager earlier of this year, Nancy MacLean, Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University and David Jolly, former Republican Congressman from Florida, was no longer affiliated with the party.

And Congressman, I`m going to start with you. Let me quote a little bit more from these subpoenas. This is what, was said that Enrique Tario, who is really, right now serving five months in prison for tearing off a black lives matter banner from an historic black church in D.C. And who actually wasn`t in D.C. on the 6th because he was barred from being there, the FBI said don`t even come into town because he had charges of carrying a weapon he shouldn`t have had in D.C.

Here`s what they said. In discussing killing government officials, one Proud Boy said yep, Day of the Rope referring to a day of mass lynching of race traitors in the white supremacist novel The Turner Diaries. The leader of the Oath Keepers also encouraged his members to stock up on ammo and prepare for a full on war in the streets. As someone that was an impeachment manager and somebody who is prosecutor, what do you make of the subpoenas today?

REP. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA): Joy, we are seeing that no one is off limits and like any good white collar prosecution from the bottom up or outside in, they are starting to get closer and closer to the commander of this insurrection Donald Trump and it`s important that they do so.

What we should also note that these Proud Boys, these Oath Keepers they will have no right to invoke executive privilege and so any defiance of the subpoenas hopefully will mean that they will be held in contempt, put in jail until they`re willing to testify.

But why this is so concerning, Joy, is because we came so close that day it was actually only seconds or minutes in some instances where members of Congress, staff, and others could have been killed and the government could have been over thrown.

And we have a Republican Party that no longer believes in voting. They believe in violence. They don`t condone democracy anymore. They don`t condone democracy and they refuse to condemn the violence.

And what that means in your everyday life, imagine if you had an anti- majority way about your everyday life at your bunco club or at your PTA meetings or in your fantasy football league, that would mean that someone could use the threat of force to enact their will and the majority would no longer matter. And that`s the threat if we don`t get this right and that`s why this commission has to continue its work.

REID: You know and, Nancy, you have written so much about the potential fall of the American Democratic experiment and the failure of it both with the judicial rulings that try to put so much power in the hands of the super rich but now also with what really feels like and just really definitionally is just open fascism, this sort of a brute force politics that the right has embraced, that the Republican Party and their media have embraced, that it is legitimate in their mind and in the minds of really sizable plurality of the Republican base, that if they don`t get their way through the ballot box, they`re willing to get it through the bullet, they`re willing to get it through mass violence.

That is terrifying. We have a commission report saying we are in threat of not being a democracy in a decade. What do you think?

NANCY MACLEAN, AMERICAN HISTORIAN: Yes. I was very pleased to see that report. I felt like yelling hallelujah that others are paying attention to the state of our democracy. You know, as I see it, if we had a democracy clock, like the old nuclear clock, we would be two minutes to midnight right now in military terms, def con two. What happens going into this next midterms is going to determine the future. So, any Americans who aren`t paying attention now and aren`t part of the solution, I think, are going to find if they don`t act and if we don`t get that awakening there may not be another chance to fix this.

As your introduction said, Joy, this is happening on many levels. Donald Trump and the attempted coup that we now realize was happening on January 6th is certainly the most dramatic element of this but this is also -- and his presidency is the culmination of a deep radicalization of the Republican Party driven by billionaire, arch-right donors over decades now, but particularly the last decade.

And as you point out so importantly in your introduction tonight, this is going on at the state level too, where the worst rule-rigging is going on. And it is outside of the sight of much of the media and most of the American people but they are now -- the Republican Party, this radicalized Republican Party is now changing how elections will be run, where they control state legislatures and how the votes will be counted.

This is on top of the worst gerrymandering we`ve seen in modern American history. This is on top of all of the voter suppression. This is on top of attacks on the independent judiciary in the states and on the powers of Democratic governors and it is on top of what Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has rightly called court capture, where there`s arch-right billionaire donors network backed by this radicalized and increasingly violent base that you mentioned has now achieved a Supreme Court majority of 6-3.


So, they are going to be determining these people put in place by dark money, you know, in secretive organizations are going to be determining whether what happens in 2022 or 2024 or all these other issues in between is legitimate.

Again, I would say def con two, Americans, please wake up because there is not going to be a lot more time to sort this out and to right the ship if we fail in this next year.

REID: Yes. And, David Jolly, I mean, what you need is you need an authoritarian leader sort of demigod for people to worship, check, you got Donald Trump, and who flunk -- you need flunkies who are willing to fall in line whether in their core know it`s wrong or not, people like Kevin McCarthy who are willing to sell their souls to Donald Trump, check. And then you need shock troops, right? You need people who are willing to be the ground troops for what is essentially an invasion of democracy.

The Oath Keepers are, by definition, either current or former military and police. These are people with guns. These are people with training who have put themselves in the service of the project. And then you`ve got the Proud Boys, and you`ll be familiar with them because both of us lived -- you`re still in Florida. I lived in Florida a long time. So, I know who Enrique Tario is. He`s Afro-Cuban, which is part of the irony here, so he`s technically a person of color but perhaps not on his own mind.

Here is some of what he`s done. Let`s show a little video. He led a mob style attack on the speaker of the House, Speaker Pelosi back in 2018. This attack was actually organized. It was a protest that was organized by the Miami-Dade Republican Party. It was an attack on Congresswoman at a time Donna Shalala and Speaker Pelosi. That happened in public. The Miami-Dade GOP chair had to apologize.

He sat behind Donald Trump himself a year later at a speech. He was positioned directly behind Trump. He is somebody who was the head of Latinos for Trump. He went to the White House. He got -- he set -- well, his group, let`s start, was celebrated when Donald Trump said stand back and stand by, the Proud Boys actually changed their logo to add stand back and stand by to it when Donald Trump called them out and the last piece here of course he was in the White House but he reportedly didn`t meet with Donald Trump but he got an invite to the White House. So that is the shock troops we`re dealing with. Your thoughts, David Jolly?

DAVID JOLLY, MSNBC COMMENTATOR: Yes. A few things of import when it comes to the Oath Keepers and groups like that. First of all recall that DHS and domestic intelligence agencies have said that white nationalism and the organization around white nationalism is one of the greatest threats to homeland security right now and we saw that on January 6th.

And so when you look at these organizations, a couple things come to mind. First, it`s clear the 1/6 commission is saying, you know what, there was a conspiracy of organizers in this that would embed themselves this crowd, some acting in good faith, some acting in bad faith and actually commit acts of violence, and the violent overthrow of our republic, the undoing of the election. That`s one thought on this group.

The second though is they only have a seat at the table because Republican leaders today have given them permission. They have pulled up a chair and invited them to have a seat at the table.

And then, third, the power of this, Joy, is reflected throughout today`s Republican Party and there has been an important change in the Republican narrative. It used to be about -- all this high dollar donors and this organization was about cutting taxes and regulation, letting the chips fall where they may. There would be winners and losers in politics. Republicans fought for their winners.

Now the narrative is that something is being stolen from you, right? The big lie, the foundation of the big lie is that your vote was being taken from you. The arguments over CRT are that your culture, your privilege is being taken from you, the notion that if we give parody and equity and civil justice to the LGBT community and the non-binary community, somehow your way of life, your religious convictions are being taken from you.

And the reason that matters to these groups and all Republicans is if Donald Trump and Republicans say something is being taken from you, well, then any reaction to protect that right is now on the table, including violence and including toppling the republic. That is the danger of where today`s Republican Party is heading.

REID: Yes and that is very well stated. Thank you very much for putting it that way, very smart there. And people should listen to that.

I want to take -- go back to Congressman Swalwell.

We saw some new video evidence that was just shown. I want to just put this back in people`s minds of what this looked like, what it physically looked like for the Capitol to be invaded, and this was something obviously you as a member of Congress dealt with directly.

So, that kind of violence was pre-staged by previous violence. We saw in Charlottesville a kind of attack of a slightly different kind, but this was an attack to try to defend a monument of the confederacy.


It was an open sort of Klan-like march with Tiki torches chanting, you will not replace us and Jews will not replace us.

There was a verdict against some of the people who organized what they call the Unite the Right rally, and this was in Charlottesville. More than $25 million was awarded.

But what I found interesting, Congressman, is that the jury deadlocked on two counts that related to the Ku Klux Klan Act. They convicted based on violations of Virginia law but they could not find for the plaintiffs on the Ku Klux Klan Act portion of the case. That`s relevant to you because both yourself, right, and Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi have lawsuits that are based on the Ku Klux Klan Act.

Are you concerned that in a country where people don`t even want to learn what the Ku Klux Klan is, where people get uncomfortable even talking about the history of racism in this country, that quite bluntly white juries are not going to be willing to find for you as a plaintiff, or Bennie Thompson as a plaintiff based on the KKK Act?

SWALWELL: Well, Joy, my case will be in the district court of Washington D.C. Now, I believe that if it goes that far, the jurors there will be able to follow the line (ph) of all the faith in the world that that will be the case.

I also think it`s pretty clear cut that Donald Trump, over about a month period, incited a mob, invited them to Washington, warned the country that it would be wild, spent $30 million over about a month promoting this Stop the Steal rally, and then at the rally, told people that if you don`t fight like hell you won`t have a country anymore, after other people said that it`s time to take names and kick some other expletives. So, he knew what he was doing and then he told them he`s going to the Capitol with them.

So, I think he clearly incited, assembled and aimed that mob at the Capitol and I feel good about the case we have.

One other point, Joy, and I`m so glad that Nancy and David talked about this finding that we are slipping toward authoritarianism, and we`ve seen how fast that happened in Hungary, in Turkey, in Hong Kong. Here, we saw Donald Trump promise to make America great again, and after four years of corruption, racism and insurrection, we find ourselves trying to make America a democracy again. And that is the challenge before us and that clock, as Nancy pointed out, is a two-minute warning.

REID: And it`s clear, Nancy, that when Donald Trump said, make America great again, he literally meant turn it back. It`s clear based on everything that happened since he was elected, that he meant turn the clock back to the 1950s, `40s, `30s , `20s, those eras, when it was great for one group of people, white Christian men, and he`s used the fear of that particular group losing power to radicalize what would have been ordinary Republicans. Do you agree?

MACLEAN: Absolutely agree, Joy. But I would also widen the lens and say Donald Trump was never in this alone, that he was pushed forward by organizations, like the Heritage Foundation, the Federalists, and all these groups worked with him.

They outsourced the choice of choosing Supreme Court nominees to the Federalist Society, an organization supported by Charles Koch, one of the wealthiest and most right-wing and determined anti-democratic donors in our country and in the world to choose those judges, Donald McGahn was doing that, Mike Pence, you know, Marc Short, all of these people are deeply out of that Koch network of organizations that has done so much to undermine democracy.

And they work hand and glove with Fox News, which is a 24/ 7 not only disinformation machine instead of news, not only disinformation but also, going back to previous comments type of media that incites a white tribal and white evangelical response, makes these people feel afraid and like they`re being attacked to activate the reptilian brain to make them feel like they have to fight, like they can`t even think because, frankly, Joe Biden`s policies are very popular with great majorities of the American people when they stopped to pay attention. But if you get people into an embattled state where they cannot think straight because they`re so frightened and so agitated and so on edge, they are going to act against their own interest. And that is exactly what these networks want.

And it`s -- to get a sense of how serious they are, they are willing to kill off their own voters, right? Look at COVID. That libertarian ideology is the reason why governors were under attack for instituting normal public health measures to save lives. You know the story. You tell it all the time.

REID: Absolutely, absolutely.

MACLEAN: But I think we have to really start connecting the dots and realize...


REID: Yes.

MACLEAN: ... that this is much bigger than that awful man who occupied the White House.

REID: Yes.

MACLEAN: And we have got to get to the rest of the problem.

REID: Indeed.

It is not Sunday, but you can get an amen.


REID: Connect the dots. Connect the dots. That is the important thing to do.

Congressman Eric Swalwell, Nancy MacLean, David Jolly, thank you all very much.

Up next on THE REIDOUT: the latest from Georgia, as the fate of the three men accused of murdering Ahmaud Arbery now rests in the hands of the jury.

Also, ominous new warning signs about COVID, as a deadly new rise in cases appears to be under way just in time for the holiday season.

Plus: tonight`s "Absolute Worst." As Republican take a sledgehammer to voting rights, the issue is now on the back burner in Congress. Radio host Joe Madison has been on a hunger strike over the issue of voting rights for more than two weeks. He joins me tonight.

And my thoughts on the passing of Malikah Shabazz, just the latest devastating blow to the family of the late and great Malcolm X.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.



REID: The judge in the trial for Ahmaud Arbery`s killing sent the jury home in the last hour. There`s no verdict tonight.

The jury will resume deliberations tomorrow morning.

Gregory McMichael, his son, Travis McMichael, and William "Roddie" Bryan Jr. are charged with malice and felony murder. The McMichaels claim they were conducting a citizen`s arrest and that Travis McMichael acted in self- defense.

Linda Dunikoski, the lead prosecutor, however, pointed out that the major flaw in that defense is that Arbery`s attackers were the ones who started the confrontation.


LINDA DUNIKOSKI, COBB COUNTY, GEORGIA, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY: They don`t have any authority to use verbal commands. This is a fellow citizen. This is another human being.

They started it. They do not get to claim self-defense. And then, of course, provocation. You can`t force someone to defend themselves against you so you get to claim self-defense. This isn`t the Wild West. No.


REID: With me now, Katie Phang, an MSNBC legal contributor, and Paul Butler, former federal prosecutor and a Georgetown law professor. Our dynamic duo is back again.

Katie, I have to play you one of the most despicable things I have ever seen in watching a lot of trials. This is the defense lawyer, and doing what seems to me to be clearly trying to make this almost all-white jury despise the dead Ahmaud Arbery. Take a look, and also the reaction of Arbery`s mom.


LAURA HOGUE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR GREG MCMICHAEL: Turning Ahmaud Arbery into a victim after the choices that he made does not reflect the reality, in his khaki shorts, with no socks to cover his long dirty toenails.

WANDA COOPER-JONES, MOTHER OF AHMAUD ARBERY: That was just beyond rude. Regardless of what kind of toenails he had, what size legs he had, that was still -- still my son.

And my son actually was running for his life.


REID: I -- what could possibly be the benefit of that argument for any defendant?

KATIE PHANG, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, I think it was a critical misstep by the defense attorney.

But if you`re the defense attorney, you know what you`re doing? You`re dehumanizing the victim, right? You`re making it so that the person who was the ultimate victim in this case, Ahmaud Arbery, didn`t really have a lot of value. So you`re kind of suggesting to the jury, look, not only did he provoke this, but, at the end of the day, it`s OK, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, if you want to acquit my client, because it really wasn`t anything of value.

It is beyond insulting to devalue and to dehumanize Mr. Arbery, but I`m not surprised because there has been this idea in this case that it was OK to chase down a man for five minutes who was black because he was running down the street, fleeing for his life.

But I want to point out something I think that is really important and why I still have faith in an ultimate conviction in this case, Joy. And it`s because there was no judge drama in this case, unlike the Kyle Rittenhouse trial.

And the prosecution had the opportunity during closings and throughout the entirety of this case to call Mr. Arbery the victim, because that is exactly what he was, vs. the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, where they were referred to as looters and other types of names and rioters.

So I think it`s also important, though, that the breakdown of the county where this trial is taking place is important. It`s 70 percent white, 26 percent black. Jury selection took two-and-a-half weeks, 1,000 perspective jurors, yet you only have one black juror on that 12-person jury.

That has to give you cause for pause. No matter how strong the evidence is, it has to make you pump the brakes a little bit and say something`s going on here. And the judge himself said, I think there`s intentional racial discrimination going on, but I`m going to let it go forward.

So, it ain`t perfect...

REID: Yes.

PHANG: ... but I`m hopeful in justice.

REID: Well, see, that is what I have noticed a lot about this as far as race in the case, Paul.

Number one, race really hasn`t been brought up, even though it`s obvious that these three white men sort of recreated a 1950s era scene, chasing a black man in two pickup trucks, then shot him with a shotgun. That hasn`t come up. The prosecutor really hasn`t brought up race.

And this judge, he may be getting credit for not being cuckoo, but he didn`t allow the prosecution to argue that, after these men shot Arbery, they stood over him and used the N-word. I find that weird. What do you make of the prosecutor really not going to race in her arguments, even though she`s done a great job, and the fact that this judge would not allow that to be argued?

PAUL BUTLER, FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR: Yes, so it`s actually the defense that has brought up race a lot more.


REID: A lot.

BUTLER: I`m surprised that that defense attorney didn`t say those long, dirty black toenails, because you know that`s what she meant.

The prosecutors had smoking gun evidence of the defendants` racism, including that, after Travis McMichael pumped three bullets into Mr. Arbery, he called him the N-word. But the prosecutors said that she wasn`t going to president the evidence to the jury unless the defense opened the door by claiming that they aren`t racist.

So I think the strategy to leave out race was about what Katie was talking about, this virtually all-white jury. The defense didn`t want to look like they -- the prosecution didn`t want to look like they were injecting race in the case.

Joy, I would have fought to get this evidence in front of the jury for two reasons. First, the case is about racism. And, sometimes, it`s important to name the evil. And, second, the jury needs to understand the motive. These defendants weren`t these bumbling wannabe cops who made a tragic mistake.

These defendants are straight-up old-school white supremacists, and they`re the ones who injected race in the case when they hunted down and killed a black man.

REID: And I feel like that`s so obvious.

But I kind of can see why a prosecutor would think but an all-white jury isn`t going to buy that, because -- I said this in the previous segment -- you have white Americans who don`t even want to teach what the Klan -- what the Ku Klux Klan Act is, and they get offended if you bring up the fact that the founders owned slaves.

So, in that kind of a country, she might have been right that the jury might have gotten offended if she had brought up race.

Very quickly, let`s talk about the citizen`s arrest law. And you have talked about this, Paul. It is -- literally, the guy who Cobb County is named after helped write this law. It goes back to 1863. Georgia has -- only second to Mississippi in the number of number of lynchings after the Civil War. So, Georgia has a history.

What do you make of the fact that this is the law that these defendants are relying on to try to get off on this killing, on this murder?

BUTLER: Joy, when he took the stand, the shooter, Travis McMichael, could not contain his outrage that, when he told Ahmaud Arbery to stop, Mr. Arbery did not stop.

Travis McMichael never told Mr. Arbery what he wanted or why he was aiming his weapon at him. But in this defense world, when a white man tells a black person to stop, they have to stop, or else. That`s what citizen`s arrest means to them.

It`s not just anarchy. It`s anarchy plus white supremacy. It`s a world where a black person has no rights that a white man is bound to respect.

REID: It`s old South Africa.

And if they get off on this, that`s your future, that every white man with a gun is going to feel that they have the right to tell any black person, you get up, stand up, sit down, go over there, do what I say. And if you don`t listen, they can shoot you.

That is the precedent that we`re fighting right now.

Katie Phang, Paul Butler, thank you both very much.

Up next: Are you planning on traveling for Thanksgiving, getting together with family and friends? Everything you need to know about the current state of the ongoing pandemic. It might be getting worse again.

Stay with us.



REID: Travel is expected to reach pre-pandemic levels over Thanksgiving weekend, as Americans celebrate their first winter holiday season with a COVID vaccine.

But while the situation isn`t as bad as with the Delta surge a few months ago, cases are on the rise again, with an uptick throughout the Midwest and the Northeast. Officials had told Americans it was safe to gather, but some public health officials are now warning that the country is headed for a holiday surge that could leave thousands dead.

In some parts of the country, it`s as bad now as it was last November. In 15 states, patients with confirmed or suspected COVID are taking up more ICU beds than they were a year earlier. States are also seeing a growing number of people with breakthrough cases end up in the hospital.

The rise in cases and studies that show waning immunity from vaccinations has led officials to urge Americans to get their booster shots as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Europe is dealing with a drastic surge in COVID cases, raising concern that the U.S. could be next, since we have a pattern of following Europe`s trajectory a few weeks later. The U.S. is less vaccinated than those parts of Western Europe that are currently taking lockdown measures or implementing new restrictions to stop the spread.

But the White House says the U.S. will not be implementing any lockdowns.

I`m joined now by Dr. Lipi Roy, medical director of COVID isolation and quarantine sites for Housing Work in New York City.

And, Dr. Lipi Roy, always great to see you.

I want to show this chart. I put this chart on my Instagram because it scared me so much. This is the difference of being vaccinated and not vaccinated in whether or not you`re going to end up in the hospital. So, the fact that we`re less vaccinated than the parts of Western Europe that are on lockdown again is terrifying to me.

What do you make of it, as a doctor who`s in this -- in the middle of this fight?

DR. LIPI ROY, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, it doesn`t take a rocket scientist to see that difference, right?

And let me just say, Joy, I was -- your vibrant red yesterday inspired me to bust out my own red.

REID: Gorgeous.

ROY: Speaking of red and being alarmed, I am really getting concerned about this rise in COVID cases.

Look, while the CDC does recommend delaying travel until -- unless you`re fully vaccinated, we know that tens of millions of Americans are scheduled to travel, to have indoor celebrations, which is going to further fuel the surge.

We -- I`m also concerned that coronavirus -- that cases are rising again for the first time in the U.S. in weeks, surpassing over 100,000 new cases per day. And 56 million Americans are still -- still remain unvaccinated.

But here`s the good news, Joy, compared to last year or last Thanksgiving. There`s two new measures that we have, which is the fact that boosters are now approved for all adults, and that children 5 to 11 can now get vaccinated. So I`m really -- I`m reassured by that.

But we have just got to get those people that are unvaccinated to get that vaccine. It infuriates me and my fellow health care colleagues that people with zero medical and public health training are dictating medical policy. I don`t tell my plumber how to fix my sink. And I don`t tell NASA astronauts how to chart the course to the moon.

So let`s respect scientists and public health officials, or else we`re never going to get out of this pandemic, Joy.


REID: Let`s talk about boosters.

I got my booster. Very excited about it. I feel kind of superhuman now that I have it. I`m not magnetized yet. I`m very disappointed by that.

There are eight states, according to Politico, however, where -- including large ones like New York and Pennsylvania, where fewer than one-third of seniors have received a booster, according to the CDC. And only Vermont has a quarter of its entire population boosted.

Is it true that, if you`re not boosted, you`re not really fully vaccinated, particularly with Delta out there? How urgent is it, do you think, for us to get our -- especially our parents and grandparents and seniors vaccinated, boosted?

ROY: Yes, I`m really -- I`m really glad you`re asking about the boosters, Joy, because there`s been confusion.

I think people are getting some kind of mixed messaging from certain words, like the CDC saying should or could, must. And let`s be really clear. Everybody that`s 18 and above needs to get the booster. If you have got Pfizer or Moderna and it`s been six months, get the booster. If you have had J&J, and it`s been two months, get the booster.

With Delta circulating, and with so many unvaccinated people still around, we -- and with waning immunity, we need to get that booster. Studies are clearly showing, Joy, that, a month out from getting the booster, infections, hospitalizations and deaths have decreased severalfold.

So, get the booster, Joy.

REID: All right, rapid fire.

Is it -- OK, rapid fire. My godmother got her Moderna, and she`s saying she only wants to be boosted with Moderna. Do you have to match what you had the first time?

ROY: The exciting data is that the CDC and other studies have shown that you can mix and match. Mixing and matching different mechanisms of anti -- of vaccines work really well at boosting the immune system. She can get anything she wants.

REID: OK, what about -- is it safe to have our senior relatives come in and have Thanksgiving with us if they haven`t been in our bubble?

ROY: As long as they are fully vaccinated and boosted, it`s safe to be around other people.

But if you`re really unsure or uncertain, people can get tested. They can get the rapid test. And if you`re really uncertain, if you`re indoors and around people, you don`t know their vaccination status, then wear a mask.

You know that I`m always carrying around my mask, right, my...


REID: Yes.

ROY: ... masks.

So, practice every possible mitigation measure. But if people are fully vaccinated and even boosted, you can be around other vaccinated, fully boosted people.

REID: And I have hung out with you in Harlem, so I know that you always have your mask, sister. She never leaves home without it.

Lipi Roy in her beautiful red, thank you very much. Really appreciate you.

Still ahead: Radio personality Joe Madison is on day 16 of his hunger strike, protesting congressional inaction on voting rights. He will join us to tell us why he thinks Republican opposition to voting rights legislation is the "Absolute Worst."

We will be right back.



REID: Members of Congress have headed home for Thanksgiving.

I guess they figured that our crumbling democracy can wait just a little bit longer. I mean, who cares if governors in roughly 19 states have approved racially biased congressional districts that will help cement their future control of Congress, despite it being voters of color, who overwhelmingly favor Democrats, who fueled population growth for the recent census?

I guess they don`t care that 150 scholars from Duke to Stanford issued a recent letter warning that, if state Democrats -- Senate Democrats don`t get their priorities straight, American democracy will be at critical risk. It could undermine the minimum condition for electoral democracy, free and fair elections.

But it would, in turn, likely result in an extended period of minority rule. I guess they also don`t care about this new warning from a U.N. human rights official, who just wrapped up two weeks in the U.S. and found that it is almost a tyranny of the majority, where the minority right to vote is being denied in many areas.

That could be the only explanation as to why some Democrats do not want to nuke the filibuster. Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema recently told "The Washington Post" "that legislation that is crafted together in a bipartisan way is the legislation that`s most likely to pass and stand the test of time. And I would certainly encourage my colleagues to use that effort to move forward."

That`s right. She and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin still think that the Republican Party, the party that lied about the 2020 elections, gerrymandered congressional districts and put in place laws that would overturn elections, that they must be asked for their permission for Democrats to take action to protect our democracy, as if they will ever give it.

The sheer denial of the crisis that we`re facing and the lack of urgency by all politicians, Democrat and especially Republican, is the "Absolute Worst."

Joining me now is someone who`s actually putting his life on the line for voting rights, Joe Madison, activist and host of "Joe Madison, The Black Eagle" on SiriusXM Radio. He`s currently in the third week of a hunger strike, demanding that Congress put voting rights front and center.

And, Black Eagle, I`m worried about you. It`s been three weeks since you have been on this hunger strike. I have to start by asking, how are you doing? How are you feeling?

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: There are some physical challenges, but nothing that I hadn`t anticipated.

And the real issue that concerns, it`s -- people asked about me. It`s not about me. It`s about what you just -- what you just stated.

There`s another warning that I got from retired Lieutenant General Clapper, who came on the show and said that, if the filibuster or the John Lewis bill or the Right to Vote bill isn`t passed, it will be aiding and abetting our enemies, that Russia and China, our adversaries, are hoping that these -- that these voting rights bill protections aren`t passed.

But, for me, this is a not just a political protest, but it`s moral.


And so I just think that, while we`re looking at Thanksgiving and people are enjoying their families, I hope that the United States Senate will reflect, Joy, on what we will lose if they do not come back after the Thanksgiving recess and put these bills on the front burner.

And, to President Biden, I would say, it was our vote that actually put that pen in your hand that made it possible to get the infrastructure bill through and will probably make it possible to get the Build Back Better bill through.

But we cannot be on the back burner. And the calendar, quite honestly, is our enemy at this point in time.

REID: Yes.

I -- just to show again, as we have put up many times, these are the 19 states that are -- that have passed 33 different restrictive voting laws. That`s all over the country. The whole former Confederacy almost has done it.

There have been protests. Martin Luther King Jr. -- III has been arrested in front of the White House. Black Women`s Roundtable has been out there. Black women organizations have been fighting back in protest. But it`s really been mostly covered by, as you can see right there, the black -- by black media.

It hasn`t become a huge mainstream constant story. But it should be, because voting rights, as you said, are the underpinning of all of our democracy, not just black people`s.

Have you heard from or invited on your show Kyrsten Sinema or Joe Manchin, and have they been willing to come and talk to you?

MADISON: No, I have not invited them.

I certainly have challenged them. And they have to understand that, look, you`re right. This isn`t just about black people. I have heard from disabled veterans who say they`re passing laws that, if a disabled veteran wants to drive up to a polling place and have a poll worker come out and hand them a ballot to fill out, and then take it back and cast the vote, that they can`t do that.

I have had seniors in Wisconsin, that story that broke just the other day in Wisconsin, where they`re talking about arresting even Republican election officials if they somehow go in and help seniors vote.

And what I don`t understand, let`s go back to 2006, when George W. Bush signed the Voting Rights Act extension for 25 years, and 98 senators voted for it. So, where did those Republicans go? And why don`t these Republicans on the Senate side, at least 10 of them, have the courage to understand that these voter suppression laws aren`t just going to impact Democratic voters, because they`re going to impact all voters?

So, I`m just joining in solidarity with all the others, the Melanie Campbells, the -- and all -- National Action Network and all the others. It`s -- everybody can do something.

REID: Yes.

MADISON: And I just decided that somebody has to say to the president and to the Senate that we care. We care deeply.

And lord knows, after the end of the first Reconstruction, Joy, the first thing they went after was the vote.

REID: Was our voting rights, and compromised on...


MADISON: And all hell broke -- and all hell broke loose.

REID: Absolutely.

MADISON: The Klan was formed.

REID: Yes. Yes, indeed.

MADISON: And so look where we are now. Look.

REID: Yes, indeed.

MADISON: And so I`m going to -- so, well, I`m pledged that I wasn`t going to eat any solid food until this -- until one of these bills is passed.

REID: Is passed. Well, I hope...

MADISON: And that`s what I`m going to do.

REID: I hope that the president -- you hear from the president, and I hope that they do something in the United States Senate, because we need you, Joe Madison, Black Eagle, my friend.

Please be safe. Thank you.

MADISON: We need democracy. We need democracy.

REID: Yes, sir. We do. Thank you so much. And please be safe.

Up next -- thank you, Joe Madison.

Up next: another tragedy for the family of Malcolm X, as one of his youngest daughters is found dead in her Brooklyn apartment.

Stay with us.



REID: Betty Shabazz, the wife of iconic black liberation leader Malcolm X, was pregnant with twins, who she would name Malikah and Malaak, when Malcolm X was assassinated in Harlem in 1965, as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.`s daughter Dr. Bernice King pointed out in a tribute to Malikah Shabazz, who passed away on Monday.

Malikah Shabazz was found unresponsive in her Brooklyn apartment by her daughter and pronounced dead when authorities arrived. The NYPD says her death was not deemed suspicious.

This is the latest in a series of tragedies to devastate Malcolm X`s family, who went through the unthinkable after his assassination. We now know that the FBI and the NYPD withheld crucial evidence at the trial of his accused killers, resulting in the exoneration just last week of two of the men who were falsely convicted of his murder, meaning the FBI has yet to solve that crime.

And, earlier this year, the family received a letter written by a New York police officer accusing the NYPD and the FBI of involvement in the assassination itself. The family also suffered through the death of matriarch Betty Shabazz, who died at age 61 from injuries caused by a fire set by her grandson, who at the time was just 12 years old.

Malcolm Shabazz. the first male heir to his grandfather`s name, would later die tragically himself at age 28. And families are complicated, right? And so this family is complicated, though they have been forced to share their joys and their sorrows and their family disagreements in public, not because they chose to become celebrities, but because their parents put their bodies on the line to demand that America be what it claims it is.

And so they are too often treated by the mainstream as curiosities with a famous surname. But, for black Americans and black people all over the world, the Shabazz family, like the King family and the Evers family and so many other families of freedom fighters, are like royalty. And now death has cast its long shadow over this beloved family once again once again.

Malikah Shabazz was just 56 years old. The entire Shabazz family is in the hearts and the prayers of our family tonight.

And that tonight`s REIDOUT.